Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday to expedite citizenship applications from Ukrainians who live in parts of Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists, a move that could hold back a peace process to end years of bloodshed. The decree, which was published on the Kremlin's website, states that some residents in the parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are under separatist control will have their applications considered in less than three months. Putin's decision could trigger a major escalation of the war that started in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and shatter hopes for peace in the area — also known as Donbass — that were renewed with the election of a new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
BOSTON – Michael Center, former men's tennis coach at the University of Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in federal court Wednesday, becoming the third college coach to admit guilt in the nation's college admissions scandal. Center, who acknowledged accepting $100,0000 in bribes to falsely designate a college applicant as an athlete, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. He was appearing before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who accepted the plea agreement.
On Wednesday, the news broke that President Donald Trump had an Oval Office meeting with Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, wherein he proceeded to badger the bearded tech bro over his follower count. Trump, who boasts close to 60 million Twitter followers—far short of former President Obama's 106 million-plus—reportedly argued that he'd lost a significant number of followers due to purges targeting conservatives. But Dorsey “had to explain to the president that like other Twitter users, @realDonaldTrump periodically loses followers when the site deletes fake or bot accounts,” reported The Daily Beast.
On Easter Sunday, the Shangri-La was one of several hotels targeted by suicide bombers in attacks that killed 359 people, and wounded 500 more. Suddenly, the nation's hard-won peace evaporated, and civilians were once again plunged into the grip of terror. The violence, believed to be carried out by a domestic Islamist militant group, was the deadliest to hit Sri Lanka since the civil war ended a decade ago.
Border Patrol agents found a three-year-old boy alone in a field in Texas after likely being abandoned by smugglers at the southern border, authorities said. US Customs and Border Protection said that the boy's name and a phone number were written on his shoes when agents found him on Tuesday morning. The child will likely be sent to a facility for unaccompanied minors operated by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The proposal has three basic components — making public universities free, providing more funding for historically black colleges and universities, and cancelling large amounts of student debt. The idea of free public universities is something I've argued against in the past. Warren's plan would use government funding to replace the lost tuition, but this system might not allow universities to increase their expenditures in the future to meet the needs of research or educational-quality improvements.
A Muslim woman's response to protesters at a conference in Washington, D.C., has gone viral. Shaymaa Ismaa'eel, 24, was attending a conference for the nonprofit group Islamic Circle of North America when she spotted a group of Islamophobic protesters, reports CNN. "On April 21st I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment," she wrote in a tweet on April 23 accompanying the images, which has drawn more than 292,000 likes.
The U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday it has added Pinduoduo.com, China's third-largest e-commerce platform, to its "notorious markets" list for a proliferation of counterfeit products, as the agency also called out China as a priority to watch for intellectual property rights concerns. In its annual review of trading partners' protection of intellectual properties rights and so-called "notorious markets," the U.S. Trade Representative said 36 countries warranted additional bilateral engagement over these issues. The agency kept China on the list and lifted Saudi Arabia up as a priority.
Jacob Stokes Security, Asia Beijing is playing the role of powerbroker during high-profile international negotiations and gaining leverage that it can deploy on other issues. All parties to the negotiations with North Korea are trying to chart a path forward after the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. Most of the post–summit analyses focus on denuclearization steps, corresponding sanctions relief, and potential symbolic moves toward peace.
Welcome to Walmart's Intelligent Retail Lab — the retail giant's biggest attempt to digitize the physical store. Walmart envisions using them, combined with other technology like sensors on shelves, to monitor the store in real time so its workers can quickly react to replenish products or fix other problems. The technology, shown to The Associated Press, will also be able to track when shelves need to be restocked or if shopping carts are running low.
A 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America miraculously suffered no brain damage, his family pastor said. The boy fell nearly 40 feet after a stranger "looking for someone to kill" picked him up and threw him earlier this month. Bloomington, Minn.
Deutsche Bank has begun to provide documents on financing for some of President Donald Trump's projects to New York State authorities, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Wednesday. In mid-March, New York Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed the German bank, demanding records related to loans and lines of credit granted to the Trump Organization. The money was intended to finance projects such as Trump hotels in Washington, DC, Miami and Chicago, another source told AFP last month on the condition of anonymity.
One of the bombers in the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday attacks studied in the UK and Australia, the country's deputy defence minister revealed on Wednesday. We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then later on did his postgraduate in Australia, before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka,” said Ruwan Wijewardene, without naming the suspect. He said one of the bombers was a woman.
A 13-year-old girl who was placed on life support after being attacked by three other girls has died, according to ABC 13. Kashala Francis, a student at Attucks Middle School, died Wednesday morning at Texas Children's Hospital, six days after being beaten up after class last week, police and her mother Mamie Jackson said. Doctors discovered a tumor in the back of Francis' head while she was on life support and believed the fight may have worsened her condition.
Joe Biden might appear the most likely Democrat to win the primaries and take on Donald Trump in 2020 — but the 76-year-old politician may be facing his greatest uphill battle yet as he tries to reconcile his past with voters calling for a progressive future. Whereas Mr Biden voted to support legislation the National Rifle Association (NRA) hailed in 1986 as “the law that saved gun rights” in America, Kamala Harris proposed this week a slate of aggressive executive actions on gun control reform that she would take if Congress fails to act within her first 100 days in the Oval Office. Mr Biden's record also includes longstanding support, dating back to 1999, for the Bankruptcy Reform Act, a bill critics said made it more difficult for students to release college-related debts.
Multiple police sources report to FOX 32 in Chicago that AJ Freund's body was found 5 miles from his Crystal Lake, Illinois home; Bryan Llenas reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on Wednesday simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions. Five years of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces have killed 13,000 people despite a notional ceasefire signed in 2015. Russia's move is an early test for the Ukrainian president-elect, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election and has pledged to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an intriguing twist to the global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea, which appeared to hit a wall after a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump collapsed in February. It also adds a chapter to the storied but often-strained friendship between Pyongyang and Moscow, which was forged in war and weathered by the Soviet collapse and tensions surrounding the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The investigation was tied to the "#FeelingCute" challenge, the department said last week. The Houston Chronicle — which reported earlier this month that officers were apparently linked to posts with captions such as "Feeling cute, might just gas some inmates today, IDK" — reported on Tuesday that four officers have been fired and two resigned because of the investigation. Texas Department of Criminal Justice statements to the Chronicle and the Associated Press did not provide details on the social media content involved in the firings.
Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Sol Wisenberg expects a hard-hitting report from Michael Horowitz.
Kick-off the summer with these perfect Memorial Day food ideas. From Delish
Hundreds of Muslim refugees in western Sri Lanka have taken refuge in mosques and a police station after facing intimidation following the deadly Easter bombings, activists said Thursday. At least 359 people died in Sunday's coordinated suicide blasts, including more than 100 Christians attending mass at St Sebastian's church in Negombo on the island's west coast. The attacks have been condemned by leaders of the country's Muslim minority who have said mosques will not bury the bombers, and the community has been left in fear of a backlash.
Task and Purpose Security, Europe Meet the YAK-141. For all the yelling and shouting over the Department of Defense's much-maligned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, there's an unusual, often overlooked footnote in the trillion-dollar project's history: its origins as an experimental Soviet fighter that only fell into Lockheed Martin's lap because a desperate Russian aerospace company needed some cold, hard cash. Before the F-35, there was the Yak-141 'Freestyle' multi-role vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fighter born during a tumultuous period in Russian military history.
The Trump administration is being accused of “stonewalling” Congress by ignoring a deadline for the Treasury to hand over Donald Trump's tax returns and defying a subpoena requesting ex-personal security director Carl Kline appear before a House investigative committee. “It appears that the president believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight,” said Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. President Trump made his feelings on Democrat-led investigations in the wake of the Mueller report perfectly clear in an interview on Tuesday, stating: “There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it's very partisan - obviously very partisan.